Boa Prey animals

A large variety of prey animals is available for the Genus Boa constrictor, and especially the larger subspecies (Boa c. constrictor, Boa c. occidentalis) are not very picky. While mice or rat babies are suitable for neonate boas, adult specimen feed on (monster-) rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and chicken. Even gerbils are readily accepted.

From our own experience, we can confirm that rabbits are the best suitable prey for adult Boa constrictor. We would like to stress that we don't mean adult rabbits, but only juvenile specimens that are not bigger than an adult rat of appropriate size.

Adult rabbits are not a suitable boa food!

While a „guinea pig diet“ increases the body fat of the snake, feeding rabbits seems to increase the growth lengthwise.

It is certainly not a bad idea to feed something else every now and then. This brings a bit of variety to the menu, and protects of the potential risks involved with monotonous nutrition.

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Boa feeding - prekilled or live?

We strongly encourage all snake keepers to feed their animals with freshly prekilled prey items. The risk, that a mouse or rat significantly injure our boa while fighting for their life is not as low as one would think. A few snakes have already lost an eye this way.

It is also not a rare occurance that rats that have been left overnight with the boa in the enclosure, turn the fight around .

In the case of an aquaintance of ours, a live rodent bit a chunk about the size of a silver dollar out of the side of a Boa c. imperator.

The wound was three milimeters deep and due to an infection almost lead to the death of the animal.

More than 90% of snakes in captivity readily accept prekilled prey items. One must simply do a bit of acting, and move the dead mouse or rat back and forth close to the head of the boa. Most of the time, simply placing the prey item inside the enclosure is enough.

Please remember that rodents are God’s creatures also. A quick death is definately more merciful than the minute-long fight for life in the coils of the reptile.

Due to the German Animal Protection law we are not allowed to publish advices how prey items can be killed. Please contact a vet of your local authorities in this matter.

If you actually have a specimen in your collection of boas that will accept live prey only, offer this with the use of hemostats to the snake. That way, the potential risk of the rodent harming the snake is minimized .